Mark Hughes will get an immediate chance to take a positive step in improving Fulham’s horrendous away form in Premier League days gone by as he prepares to travel to Bolton.
In his one pre-season game in charge at Craven Cottage, Hughes watched his team produce a dominant second-half performance to see off Champions League-bound German outfit Werder Bremen 5-1.
However, winning on their home patch has never been a pressing concern for Fulham, instead it has been their dismal displays on their travels that Hughes will need to find a way of correcting.
They have only won seven games away from home in the past three Premier League seasons and have triumphed just once in their last six visits to Bolton.
On a brighter note they have scored once on the opening day of the last four seasons, with Hughes able to call upon the services of Bobby Zamora, who scored 19 times in all competitions during the last campaign as the club made a surprise run to the Europa League final.
For Bolton, Owen Coyle will harbour hopes of sealing a top-ten finish in his first whole season at the club.
Coyle joined from neighbours Burnley during the last campaign and ensured the club’s Premier League survival through finishing 14th.
A tight budget has limited his acquisitions over the summer, but a deal has been reached to sign Croatian striker Ivan Klasnic permanently after a successful loan spell, while Martin Petrov could add some needed goals from midfield following his free transfer.
Bolton are 5/4 to open with a win, with Kevin Davies perhaps their leading hope of a goal and he is 6/1 to be the game’s first scorer.
A drab 0-0 was the result in the corresponding fixture last season and it is 8/1 for this to be the correct score again.